July 30, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 7.30.2023


OPENINGS:  After last week’s Barbenheimer fireworks, the box office for new movies returned to earth–with a thud in the case of HAUNTED MANSION (Disney), which was at the bottom of projections at $24.2M.  With the exception of Guardians 3, it’s been a tepid summer for Disney, and Haunted Mansion carries production/marketing costs in the neighborhood of $250M, making red ink likely.  The struggle to recoup won’t be helped overseas, where the film managed just $9.1M in 53 markets.

Straightforward low-budget horror fared better than the family comedy kind, as TALK TO ME (A24) launched with rave reviews (95% on Rotten Tomatoes) and $10M, not too far below the studio’s $13.6M start for HereditaryTalk To Me has barely opened overseas thus far.

The animated THE FIRST SLAM DUNK (GKids) was a bit above $600K at 581 theaters, a quiet $1100 weekend per-theater average.

HOLDOVERS:  One reason there was limited appetite for arrivals was the remarkable resilience of last week’s blockbusters.  BARBIE (Mattel/Warners) dipped just 43% from last week’s giant start to $93M.  That was parallel to the $92.3M 2nd weekend for Super Mario Bros (although that represented just a 37% drop due to Mario‘s Wednesday opening), and after 10 days, Barbie‘s $351.4M is barely below the $353.2M Mario had after the 12 days that took it to the end of its Weekend 2.  Whether Barbie can match Mario‘s $574.1M US total remains to be seen, but it faces limited competition for the rest of the summer.  Even more impressively, Barbie was down a tiny 32% overseas, with $122.2M in 69 territories.  If Barbie tops Captain Marvel‘s  $1.13B worldwide (it has $774.5M after 10 days), it will be the biggest film of all time from a female director.

OPPENHEIMER (Universal) has been no less impressive, down 44% to $46.2M, with a chance to pass $300M, which would put it above all Christopher Nolan films in the US other than Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises.  Considering its US-centric story, the overseas performance was downright astonishing, down just 26% to $72.4M in 78 markets.

SOUNDS OF FREEDOM (Angel) held extremely well once again, but it took its biggest hit to date with a 37% drop to $12.4M in its 4th weekend.  It should easily pass $175M in the US.  The overseas launch hasn’t yet begun.

Any hope that MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART 1 (Skydance/Paramount) would bounce back from last weekend’s plunge was diminished by a further 45% drop to $10.7M in its 3rd weekend, suggesting that it won’t reach $175M in the US on massive costs.  The overseas result was inevitably better with $309.3M after a $31.7M weekend, but that suggests the international total will be considerably below Fallout‘s $571.5M.

The injured list for big-budget tentpoles continued with INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY (Lucasfilm/Disney), down 40% to $4M in its 4th weekend and possibly reaching $180M in the US.  The soft overseas total is $188.9M.

ELEMENTAL (Pixar/Disney) lost 41% to $3.4M in Weekend 7, and may reach $155M in the US, another victim of giant costs.  It has $250.3M overseas.

INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR (Blumhouse/Screen Gems/Sony) fell 52% to $3.2M in its 4th weekend, on its way to $85M in the US.  It’s stronger overseas with $96.3M.

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE (Marvel/Sony Animation) dropped 50% to $1.4M in its 9th weekend, and should top $380M in the US, although it will soon fall behind Barbie as the summer leader.  The international total is $303.6M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THEATER CAMP (Searchlight/Disney) expanded to 295 theaters with a mild $2200 weekend per-theater average.  The right-wing documentary THE ESSENTIAL CHURCH (Atlas) opened at 301 with an $800 average.  AFIRE (Sideshow) widened to 44 and averaged $750.  HAVE YOU GOT IT YET (Abramorama) averaged $700 at 26.  THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY (Music Box) had a $3400 average at 3.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The latest reboot is TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM (Nickelodeon/Paramount), which opens on Wednesday, and THE MEG 2:  THE TRENCH (Warners) follows on Friday.  Limited releases include the Sundance titles PASSAGES (MUBI) and SHORTCOMINGS (Sony Classics).


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."